We’ve gotten to know Sophie of Crown and Glory very well over the past year. Not only does she provide the coveted glitter ears for every workshop goodie bag, but she attended a class last January and was our amazing assistant for our two London classes this month! In short, we adore her!
Since we first met we’ve seen her blog and her company come along in leaps and bounds and so we’re super excited to catch up with her today.
Unlike a lot of our attendees you’re not actually hoping to become a full time blogger. What was it that made you want to come to the The Blogcademy? What we’re you hoping you’d learn?
Here we have 3 kick ass women, rocking at what they love, making careers for not only themselves, but others too, being the best in their fields and still maintaining integrity – I needed me a slice of that magic! Initially I thought it’d be a great opportunity to improve my favourite but least performing online platform – the blog – but when I thought more about what I wanted to achieve, it was more about harnessing confidence, finding direction for my drive and meeting likeminded babes.
You’d already gotten quite a lot of press for your headpieces before you came to class – how did you manage this? Do you have any advice for an designers who would like to do the same?
God it’s all about who you know, not especially what you know in this industry. Obviously it helps that your product rocks, but it’s definitely about who you meet – and having integrity is so important too. Crown and Glory got on the grapevine because I happened to meet a couple of lovely girls who were doing the rounds interning at the mags and they loved what I did! Also being prevalent on social media has definitely helped – stylists and fashion assistants will often ask for help on Twitter so make sure it’s you who’s answering their pleas! But keep relevant, helpful but not annoying – if it’s weird offline, it’s weird online too!
We see your blog has come on in leaps and bounds since class with regular features and some really great helpful posts. What were your biggest takeaways from the weekend?
For the blog, implementing an editorial calendar has been the biggest change – instead of stabbing around in the dark for topics, dreaming up content comes to me so much easier when I have a set topic to work around each day! Sure, certain topics have a shelf life and may not work for long but that’s fine. Also, to not be that person that’s all “OMG I’m sooo sorry I haven’t been around here!” if I haven’t had the time to blog for a couple days or whatever – it just puts pressure on yourself!
OK so tell us about the collaboration with our very own Kat! How did that come about and how has it gone since the launch?
It came about because of Blogcademy, but not in the way you may initially think! The biggest lesson I took away from the weekend was to stop being so goddamn British and self deprecating, of being scared of failure, of being told no, of dreaming too big and not succeeding! Without Blogcademy there’s no way the seed of a collaboration idea I got would’ve ever made it past my own internal monologue.
I’d been reading an old article of Kat’s that had been republished in Beyond Beyond magazine, in which she said she was a bit green eyed of her artistic friends because she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. But damn, I thought, that’s so not true, the girl knows how to accessorise, pull together looks, curate amazing visuals – and something Kat had written about Crown and Glory a while back popped right into my head – “designer Sophie always seems to be bringing out pieces that are 100% ME!”… Cogs got whirring, an inner whimpering of “as if she’d ever say yes!” was dampened with my new, Blogcademy Can-Do attitude and I fired off a quick email. The rest, they say, is history…
I’ve been blown away with the responses since the launch. Quite how we managed to keep it under wraps for so long I do not know.
What’s your overall vision for your business?
I want Crown and Glory to turn into the Tatty Devine of the headpiece world! A quintessentially British brand that pushes boundaries within our field, experiments and sets the trends, not follow them. I envisage a studio-led team, everything performed in house, a big, glittery family.
How do you try to stand out from all the other headpiece designers?
Oh, I just do me. Sounds clichėd but I’m sticking with it! I used to spend a long time sussing out the competition, getting pissed when someone copied one of my products – it just made me bitter and unproductive! Now I trust my vision, my instinct and if something doesn’t work? Be sure I can take away at least 3 things to learn from it. Fail quickly, and move onto the next good thing!
You’re very active on social media, Twitter and Instagram in particular. What did The Blogcademy teach you about using social media and how have you implemented these things? Have you seen growth in these areas since the class?
Social media for business is one of my biggest passions – I love interacting with customers and how easy it is to tap into support networks online, so important when you’re self employed! It’s also the number one marketing tool if you know how to use it wisely – The Blogcademy reiterated for me the importance of being personal but professional, useful not annoying and how to be consistent without wasting your entire life online. The Blogcademy has given me the confidence to portray more of myself online; I’d always held back a bit with sharing too much personal stuff due to fear of criticism, but I’ve learnt that actually it’s the idiosyncrasies and quirks that will attract people to a brand, that help gain loyalty and ultimately, customers.
When it comes to your business, what are you most proud of?
I’ve overcome so many personal demons within my business – I genuinely think the last 3 years has grown me more than all the years through education ever did. It’s a work in process, but 3 years ago I could barely leave the house for a pint of milk without a panic attack, let alone sit in a shop window in Oxford Street making hundreds of headbands to order! The biggest walls we come across are often are those we build ourselves – I’m continually proud of myself for being strong enough to employ techniques to bring them down.
What’s the most valuable thing you took away from The Blogcademy? Would you recommend it to your best friend?
Genuinely, attending The Blogcademy set something alight inside me with regards to trusting myself and those two days in a room full of excitable, glittery souls has built my confidence in ways that I never could’ve imagined. It’s like the Headmistresses picked up the pieces of my worries and fears stuck them together with glitter glue. Embrace the fear, own the anxiety, put pink lipstick on the terror for its the worries that keep us awake at night that hold the key to discovering what we hold dearest.
I wrote more about my Blogcademy experience, and why I think it’s the best money I ever spent, on my own blog here!
Have you got anything exciting coming up that you can share with us?
My A/W collection employs completely brand spanking new techniques and avenues in another exciting collaboration – it’s kept me up at night and made me tear my hair out at times, but it means the brand is moving forwards to big things!
How would you like to expand or improve your business in the next 12 months? In your wildest dreams, how would your business look and feel this time next year?
Next year we will have more members of the team, on production probably, leaving me free to do what I’m best at – design and brand development. We’ll have grown our wholesale market, from small boutiques to something more mainstream while still maintaining integrity and our core beliefs.